The Blog of Jake Kelfer
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Success Spotlight with Christen Harper, Model at LA Models
How do you define success?
I think everybody is going to have their own definition of what it means to be successful. So many times I think people wrongly connect success with financial stability and affluence. Success to me is not a number or a particular lifestyle. Success is a state of happiness and contentment with who you are as an individual. Maya Angelou once said “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." Her words have resonated with me throughout my journey; they remind me how important it is to be true to yourself and kind to others along your road to success. Success isn’t taking shortcuts or putting down others to bring you up. You will only find success when you rightfully and kindly accomplish your goals.
What are your dreams?
My dreams and goals grow and evolve just as I do but the basis of them stays relatively consistent. I have personal goals and career goals but my ultimate dream is to be in a position where I can be a role model to other people. I would love to influence and help others to live happy and positive lives.
What have you done and what do you plan to do to achieve your goals?
To achieve my goals I know I will only do so if I stay true to myself and accomplish them honestly and with a good heart. In the modeling industry you work with new people on a daily basis. I work with some extremely well known clients and other small businesses and even startups. No matter the company and no matter the person on set; from the director to the intern, I always treat each person the same. If you were to ask anyone I would hope they would say I am professional, kind and respectful. I think simply being nice to others can bring you more opportunities than you realize. There have been countless times I have been rehired because of the relationships I have created with clients. I am in an image based industry and I am very aware I will not look the way I do now forever so if I can choose to be anything, I choose to be kind because that is something that will last forever. Work hard and be nice, it's as simple as that.
What is your biggest failure and how have you grown from it?
For the longest time I limited myself on dreams and goals because they didn’t seem realistic to me. Even though I knew deep down what I wanted, I refused to write my goals down or even say them out loud. I had a horrible outlook on things. I knew if I never tried or admitted that I wanted to achieve something I could never fail. For such a long time in my life fear of failure stopped me from starting anything. After years of being scared, I finally had enough. I was sick of only being content, I had become so complacent with my life and I was just living day to day. That night I finally wrote down my goals, it was an emotional experience for me. I wrote down all of the dreams that were buried so deep for so long and for the first time in my life I felt extremely vulnerable. All of a sudden these goals and dreams became real to me but the strangest thing was I looked at them and finally wasn’t scared of them. I looked at that list of goals every single day and even shared it with someone for the first time. By the next month I accomplished my first goal and since then I have reminded myself that every day is another step towards my dreams and aspirations. I owe it to myself to work and commit to those goals every day. No goal is too small or too big; if you commit yourself to your dreams and take agency in your life you won’t ever be scared of failing because you are too focused on succeeding.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received was to surround yourself with the right people. For everyone the “right people” may be different but for me it is positive, kind, motivated and goal oriented individuals. Successful people are going to encourage you to keep pushing; they will get you back on track when you are feeling low. I absolutely believe you are a product of your environment so why not place yourself in a position for success?
You can connect with Christen here:
Christen Harper Twitter
Christen Harper Instagram
Christen Harper Modeling Portfolio
I am on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal happiness.